- Posted June 28, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
World Cup 2014
On Thursday, I saw a picture uploaded onto a social networking website of a group of students from a school in the Netherlands sending Mexico's soccer team well wishes for tomorrow's World Cup game.
I was inspired. Moved. However, I have to say that some of the comments underneath the picture disappointed me. Most of the responses to the picture were disheartening. One person even said, "...this proves the lack of education that our students have here in Mexico." But I didn't let it get to me. After all, I'm a bilingual 5th grade teacher in Zacatecas, Mexico. I took it personally, and was moved again, but this time with conviction. Everyone was complaining about education instead doing something about it. So I did.
When I saw the image of the students from the Netherlands, I remembered that I moved 1000 miles away from my hometown of Dallas, Texas, USA, to do something; to learn about my husband's culture/native language, and to make a difference.
So, I got my students together and asked them to bring their jerseys the next day. They got excited and rallied behind the idea. One of my students told me, "Thank you for this opportunity. This means so much to me; to show the world that values like sportsmanship can be found in México, and not just in places like the Netherlands or the United States."
Friday morning, everyone who had a jersey brought one. (Sadly, there were also a lot of students in the middle of exams who could not be included in the picture.) I took the picture of my students wishing the Netherlands' soccer team good luck, outside of our classroom, from the third story balcony overlooking La Bufa; Zacatecas' most recognizable hill, famous for it's role during the "Toma de Zacatecas," 100 years ago, this month.
People shouldn't assume that all children from the Netherlands are well educated and all children from Mexico are not. There are well educated and poorly educated children in both countries, and throughout the rest of the world. As an educator, I believe the quality of education of a student doesn't depend entirely upon which country they are from, but instead: what their relationship with their parents or legal guardians is like at home, what teacher they get, what is being taught by that teacher, how it's being taught, and how it is reinforced at home.
I'm so proud of my students for standing up and wishing the Netherlands team good luck. I'm honored to be their teacher and I have hope that they will remember values such as sportsmanship for the rest of their lives. I have a peace in my heart knowing that the future of Zacatecas, Mexico will be left in their hands.
As for me, I'm going back home to Dallas, Texas with my husband and our three children this summer. But I will never question if quality education or the teaching of values, like sportsmanship, can be found in Mexico's schools. And I hope no one else will either.
Mexico and the Netherlands will play tomorrow, Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 11:00am Central Time. Don't miss it!